[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

Review ICC Berlin 09.10.00

09.10.00: Four people are on their way to see the D.P. concert with the Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra at the sold out International Congress Center: An intimate fan, a female fan mouse (who is a little bit in love with Big Ian), a sympathizer for the music of the band and his sceptical wife. The show began 10 minutes after 8 p.m. when Jon Lord, a perfect gentleman totally dressed in white, entered the podium. He friendly welcomed the audience and introduced the orchestra and his conductor Paul Mann.

Starting with the lovely "Pictured Within" the only little disturbing moment was when some stupid (this time not with a flare gun) made an unacceptable and loud cry in the silence just before Miller Anderson was intending to begin the refrain... Lord noticed this with an annoyed face.

Then the time was right for the special guest - Ronnie James Dio. After "Sitting In A Dream" and "Love Is All" from the musical "Butterfly Ball" Dio performed two of his own tracks: "Fever Dreams" from the recent album "Magica" and "Rainbow In The Dark". Both songs came very loud'n'heavy without orchestra, Steve was incredible on the guitar and Dio and Roger had a lot of fun on stage.

The next one was a nice jazz version of "Wring That Neck", supported by the separate wind section (which was obviously not part of the orchestra) only. Paicey once again proved that he is an amazing drummer.

Then Ian Gillan entered the stage. The long awaited "Fools" from his favourite "Fireball" came around, twice announced by Gillan. It seemed, that he has expected a touch of surprise by the audience, but, in times of internet communication most of us were already prepared for this - and we loved it indeed. Never heard it live before it was a really majestic and powerful statement. What a brilliant voice!

"When A Blind Man Cries" - one of my favourites - "Ted The Mechanic", "Pictures Of Home" and "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" completed this section before the "Concerto" started. Lord showed a surpreme performance.

The "First Movement" came as a battle between the band and the orchestra (well...the winner was the band as far as the volume was concerned :-)... At the "Second Movement" Gillan appeared black suited on stage and gave a superb performance...and at the end of the "Third Movement" nobody in the audience remained seated and standing ovations for the orchestra and the band were given.

The absolute peak - in my eyes - was reached when "Perfect Strangers" swept like a thunderstorm through the hall. It was unbeatable. The two encores "Smoke On The Water" (together with Dio) and "Highway Star" held this very high level...

To say it in one word: A compliment to the orchestra and their conductor, as well as to Miller Anderson, Dio, the wind section and to the three attractive background singers (amusingly called the Garlic Girls by Gillan). And a compliment to the band in its unity as five excellent musicians which have fun combined with a lot of inspiration having nothing lost over the years. It was the seventh time, that I had the opportunity and the luck to visit a D.P. concert in Berlin since 1991 and it was the best one (ok, I say it every year...).

Undoubtfully, it was an unforgettable event for me and my companions Marianne, Jürgen & Sylvia. And finally a sceptic changed her mind, didn't you, Sylvia?

"Had five friends once in a room,
had a good time but it ended much to soon."

Volker Thiele

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